LeBron James isn't the only thing poppin' in Cleveland, Ohio. Newcomer Kipp Stone is starting to make a name for himself, in and out of his hometown. The 23-year-old ryhme-slinger broke out after releasing "30FTALL" and hasn't looked back. Now he's gearing up to release a new project that should show off his lyrical prowess. He told XXL, "Next I'm working on a mixtape called The Grand Desire. I'm just constantly busy writing and making beats; just to the top from here man. [Laughs]" Get to know Kipp Stone in this week’s edition of The Break.—Emmanuel C.M.

Name: Kipp Stone

Age: 23

Hometown: Cleveland

I grew up listening to: Mostly I would listen to anything my dad would listen to. He was heavy into music. He made music. My dad used to make super '90s R&B music. He would listen to a lot of the classics like Earth, Wind & Fire and classic rap like Mos Def and Rakim and stuff like that. But when I finally got into rap I was listening to a lot of Eminem, Talib Kweli and of course Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, being that I’m from Cleveland. The Eminem Show was the first album I ever bought with my own money. Then eventually while watching 8 Mile I decided I’m going to start rapping and I didn’t really start taking it seriously until I dropped out of high school. I got into a really bad car accident, my grades started messing up, I was smoking and missing class and eventually I just dropped out. That was 2010. I just realized this is the only thing I’m really good at. I used to just rap on the corner for people or rap in the car, rap on the phone, that’s all I ever did.

My style’s been compared to: I’ve been compared to a lot of people, like ScHoolboy Q, Drake, J. Cole and stuff like that. I personally can’t compare myself to an artist. The artists I most relate to is your Kendricks, your Drakes and stuff like that. That’s what I’m listening to most of the time any way.

My standout records and/or moments to date have been: I would have to say the release of “30FTALL.” When I made it I wasn’t expecting it as big as it got. I made the song and everybody had heard it. It ended up on The Cosign 3, which is a really big mixtape in Cleveland because of DJ Steph Floss and Big Heff and everybody that was involved with it. It was huge for me.

My goal in hip-hop is: Well obviously to be one of the greats, but aside from that, it has to be one of the most respected hip-hop artists. Not even just on my skill alone but respect as a person. My respect for people and people respect for me is huge for me. Like a huge fanbase and people respect what I have to say.

I’m going to be the next: I would want to be the next big cult classic. When you think of a cult classic they don’t really gain a lot of commercial success or nothing like that. But everybody knows this is it, this is the guy. When you’re watching certain movies like Pulp Fiction... It’s not like a huge movie but when you mention a favorite movie you’re going to mention it. Also, I want to prove that you don’t have to be a snake to get success. I have a lot further to go but I got to where I’m at now by staying true to the people around me and staying true to what I believe. I think that’s huge.

Follow Kipp Stone on Twitter plus check out his SoundCloud.

Standout: "Cult Classic"



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